Andrea was looking forward to the birth of her first child. Financial circumstances became dire and without the support of the child’s father, she was unable to remain in her own housing. She found herself homeless and only weeks from delivery. Not knowing how she would manage, she found Our Lady’s Inn and was welcomed in. Andrea immersed herself in the program, taking advantage of every learning experience offered. Five short weeks later, she delivered a healthy baby girl. Shortly after delivery, she found a part time job, then took on a second one. Saving her earnings, Andrea and her baby remained at the shelter for three months and was able to purchase a vehicle.
When an apartment opened up in Our Lady’s Inn Transitional Housing, she was offered the opportunity to move into that Program. OLI’s Transitional Housing Program allows for more independent living for those who have completed the residential program and are working. Responsible only for paying her utilities, Andrea was able to continue to work both jobs and save
for school. Four months later, she enrolled in full time classes to earn her CNA license and quickly secured full time employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Andrea was not done yet! Upon attaining her CNA license, she applied for admission to an LPN one year program and was accepted. Now working part time, attending school full time and caring for her child, days were long and difficult, but she persevered. Finishing classes and clinicals in May, she will take Boards this summer.
In a small ceremony, Andrea recently married a young man whom she met at the church she attended; and is very happy. Andrea has hopes to earn a degree as an RN one day; and we know she will do it! Crediting the support she received from Our Lady’s Inn for helping her see that change was possible and supporting her efforts to make the change, she has come a very long way. She’s crafted a new and wonderful life for herself and her little girl; a life full of hope and possibilities!
Sanya walked along Forest Park Avenue headed to secure a late term abortion. When she heard the calm voice of a sidewalk counselor telling her that she had options – there was help if she wanted it–she stopped and allowed the woman to talk with her.
Sanya was living in a one bedroom apartment with her grandmother; she was pregnant with twins and had no idea where she would live with two newborns, or how she could manage on her own. She believed she had run out of options. The woman on the sidewalk told her about Our Lady’s Inn, a place where she could live and find support before and after the babies were delivered. She had never heard of Our Lady’s Inn and did not know such a place existed to help young women in her circumstance. She was filled with fear and anxiety, but decided she needed more time to consider her decision to have an abortion. Sanya left her phone number with the woman, turned around and went back home. She thought for two weeks about her unborn children and the decision she must make.
With the help of the same sidewalk counselor, Sanya made a call to Our Lady’s Inn, and was relieved to learn that a room had just become available; she moved to the Inn the next day. She fell into the rhythm of the daily routine, met with the nursing staff, a counselor and her case manager.
Two weeks after moving in, Sanya delivered full term twin girls, just in time for Christmas. Sanya attends in-house parenting, baby care and life skills classes. Her girls are a happy, healthy ten pounds each and Sanya could not be prouder of them; she has been doubly blessed!
She is working with her case manager on setting short and long term goals for her family, which include securing stable housing. She is grateful for the woman on the sidewalk who cared enough to reach out to her. She is uncertain how long she will stay, but knows she and her children are on the path to a brighter future together because of her time at Our Lady’s Inn.
Erica came to Our Lady’s Inn in November 2015 following inpatient drug treatment. She had suffered much trauma in her young life and sought escape through drug use. She had made several prior attempts at drug treatment before ending up in jail. She hoped she would find the support she needed for living a sober lifestyle, as she dearly wanted to have a healthy baby and be able to parent her child.
Erica determined that her long term goals for herself involves being a substance abuse counselor. While living at Our Lady’s Inn she concentrated on her sobriety and having a healthy pregnancy. She participated in, and completed, all required in-house classes and continued in an outpatient treatment program along with a 12 step program. She has developed a solid network of support and worked her way through the 12 step process-even stepping up to facilitate an all-women’s AA/NA group with childcare because she saw this as an unmet need. She had a healthy baby boy and has demonstrated that she is a very capable mother.
Erica has worked hard, and as she progressed through OLI’s program, she became a role model for other clients. After many months, Erica moved into a transitional sober living home. She started a new job and is finishing her GED studies so that she may go to college. Erica participates in OLI’s Aftercare Program for support in reaching her long term goals. Erica has taken advantage of her time and the opportunities offered to her at Our Lady’s Inn; she has made amazing progress in making a secure and loving home for she and her son. Well done, Erica, well done!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.